It is information from the scientific community that, on the whole, has been of the greatest usefulness in this crisis.

Specifically,

  1. Dr Josef Oehmen’s letter to a friend in Japan, Why I am not concerned about Japan’s nuclear reactors, written a couple of days after the tsunami hit.
  2. The Brave New Climate blog
  3. World Nuclear News website
  4. Marketing Japan – for news about Tokyo situation and links to radiation level readings and general upbeat humour
  5. Excellent chart of radiation dosage levels and effects (which I found on the BraveNewClimate blog)

 It is media articles by journalists, whose job is to sell newspapers and eyeballs to their advertisers, not to purvey news, that have been not only much less useful but have fanned the flames of panic (because that sells, duh). Here’s another informed source, this one commenting on the 80-km no-go zone whcih was first announced by the U.S. military in Japan, then repeated by the U.S. government. The author also compares Fukushima with Chernobyl, based on his personal experience of the latter.

The U.S. government may have overreacted in setting an 80-km radius no-go zone for U.S. citizens near the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, an expert on radiation and cancer immunology said Tuesday in Tokyo.

U.S. hematologist Robert Gale, who treated Chernobyl exposure victims in 1986, said the current exclusion zone by the Japanese government that covers a 20-km radius around the plant is already “conservative.”

“There is no solid reason for the U.S. government to suggest a wider evacuation,” considering the current level of microsieverts detected in the region, he said.

Gale was one of the few doctors from the West who took part in the rescue mission at the 1986 Chernobyl incident, where he flew to Moscow and treated firefighters who were exposed to high levels of radiation.

He has taken part in medical rescue efforts after the 1999 nuclear chain reaction accident in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Brazil’s Goiania nuclear incident in 1987.

“Generally speaking, the public, even the educated people, have (little) knowledge of radiation risk, and do not trust authorities and information — even if it is correct,” Gale said of reactions to nuclear accidents.

Tens of thousands tried to flee Kiev, a city about 100 km south of Chernobyl, when the nuclear meltdown occurred, but that turned out to be unnecessary, he said.

via U.S. no-go zone ‘overreaction’ | The Japan Times Online.


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